четверг, 16 января 2014 г.

Zelder winter stories
***

Do Care

Today the Olympic torch relay passed through my city. Everybody was so crazy about it that it was beyond my comfort zone to show any interest in the event. Traffic was closed at about 3 p.m. when I was dozing over my keyboard and typing unintentional letters in the middle of my report. I left work half an hour earlier than usual (because everybody wanted to see the torch and I didn't want to stay in the office alone) and at 5:30 I walked home through empty streets. It was eerily carless and humanless.

I couldn't lose the creepy feeling of being in a Walking Dead episode until I saw a crowd of people evenly (as on cue) distributed along the central road in my district. Music played in the distance and it was so freezing I wondered if the torch was going to hold any fire at all. I didn't want to think of the torch or join the craziness of people jumping from foot to foot from cold and anticipation. I walked along the road behind the crowd pulling the most emotionless face I could manage with some contempt thrown in. What's wrong with you people? - my face seemed to say - Don't you have anywhere warmer to be? Don't you already know that we have a Coca-cola factory and a Gazprom subsidiary in the city? Because I do and I really couldn't care less.

When I reached my corner several cars passed by (the coke truck was no doubt among them) and before I could turn the corner to go home I heard people shout that the torch was coming. I stopped and stared. 

The torch was carried right in front of me and handed over to the next runner. I didn't feel like shouting or clapping, I just felt that something important had just happened, was happening in the world at that moment and I couldn't experience that 'something' properly, but it was in the air. I wonder if it was the ghosts of the past bringing the unique sense of peace and unity with them that had entered my heart uninvited through the back door.

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